Custom mazes

Lab requirements, as your research needs, might be quite unique. That is why we at Noldus offer you a wide range of tools, systems, and labs as customized as you need it to be. Even if you want to incorporate components your already own. Rely on our many years of experience with building setups and labs all over the world.

Below are a couple of examples of custom build setups. If you are interested in something specific, feel free to contact us to discuss the options.

Conditioned place preference testing

CPP testing is used to measure motivation or aversion. An area (e.g. striped walls) is associated with a stimulus, e.g. a food reward. By measuring how much time the animals spends in this area, given a choice, reflects how much it likes or dislikes it.

Setup

Performing a conditioned place preference test involves using a cage with at least two differently colored or patterned walls. A good example is this cage custom-built to the specifications of Porsolt, France (www.porsolt.com). 

custom conditioned place preference
This custom conditioned place preference cage has two chambers and a corridor with translucent walls. 
custom conditioned place preference
Removing the insert allows the animal access to the two different chambers. 

It contains 2 chambers, one white and one black and white striped for context association. Specifically this cage does not have a door between the two chambers, rather the mouse has to use a corridor with translucent walls to get from one chamber to the other. This can also be used as a starting point of the test.

The cage is perfectly suited for video tracking experiments with EthoVision XT. This software automatically measures parameters such as:

  • Location of the animal
  • Duration of the stays in the different rooms
  • Latency to reach either room
  • Velocity of movement related to the rooms

Typical components

  • Conditioned place preference cage (custom built to your specifications)
  • Computer
  • Camera (and camera mount)
  • EthoVision XT software

Open field testing

Open field testing is one of the most straight-forwarded and well-validated tests in animal testing. Generally used to measure anxiety (thigmotaxis) vs explorative behavior, the open field is also a basis for other tests such as general activity, or novel object testing.

Open fields come in many different sizes and forms, and can be very as straight-forward as a simple acrylic cage or as complex as this large custom-built infrared (IR) backlit version.

Test example

Ann-Kristina Fritz and her colleagues (Wolfer lab at the Institute of Anatomy from the University of Zurich in Switzerland) were interested in finding out how mice act in the dark, and thus needed IR backlighting for their tracking experiments. In addition to being able to video track their animals during their most active period, in the dark (IR light is not seen by mice and rats), using IR backlit also creates the benefit of great contrast for optimal tracking results.

They also wanted a multi-functional setup, which is why they chose for this large version of the open field. This way it can also be used as a background for other experiments. 

large circular open field IR backlight
Large open field with NIR backlight.
large circular open field IR backlight
This open field is also equipped with a removable wall. 

Typical components

  • Open field (many standard options, or custom-built)
  • Computer
  • Camera (and camera mount)
  • EthoVision XT software